Stagnant are an American metal band from Newark, New Jersey, formed in 1989. The band has gone through several line-up changes, but the current band consists of Frank Littlemore (vocals), Casey Averdene (lead guitar), Joseph McPherson (bass), and Andy Callighan (drums). Since their 1991 debut album Stagnant Shore, the band has gained huge sucess as one of the classic metal bands of this generation and have subsequently released fifteen more albums since 1991. The band are likely to break up after founding member Frank Littlemore passed away on the 27th of November 2010 after a year long battle with cancer.
Formation and Stagnant Shore
Stagnant was formed in Newark, New Jersey in 1989 by Frank Littlemore, Jose Lynch, Michael Ackerman, and Samuel Hathaway. Signing with Batched Records in 1990, the band released their debut Stagnant Shore. It sold a few thousand copies, but according to Metalix "as of May 2009 the album had sold 500,000 copies world-wide", making it Stagnant's highest selling album to date.
Pestilentia and subsequent lineup change
Releasing their second album with Batched Records in 1993, Pestilentia the band toured for the first time cross-country. However after returning home to record a follow-up, Jose Lynch, Michael Ackerman, and Samuel Hathaway all left the band citing "creative differences". Lynch found Lacerator in 1999, whereas Ackerman and Hathaway left the music career and pursued other things. Left standing was Littlemore, who was persistent on continuing on without the others. In late 1993 Jackie Fleet, Andy Kyle, and Brett Syracuse joined Stagnant, just in time to record their third album as the new lineup, 1994's Nightmares and Despair.
Nightmares and Despair
In 1994, with three new additions, Stagnant released their third album Nightmares and Despair. The album sold well, and critics claimed it was because of the new lineup, who had better skill. After completing their three record deal with Batched Records, Littlemore and the others contemplated leaving the label. They did in 1995, and were picked up by K.I.L.L Records Ltd.
Fear The Night
With a new record label under wing, Littlemore and the others recorded their fourth album, Fear The Night. It was released in late 1996, and sold well like its predecessor. Stagnant embarked on their first tour as the new lineup in September of 1996, and seventy percent of their venues were sold out. Critics said that "Stagnant are beginning to affirm themselves up their in metal royalty with Metallica and Megadeth".
According to Littlemore, 1997 was a rough year for Stagnant. With Andy Kyle's near death experience and Brett Syracuse's absence for six months, the band had little time to deliver what K.I.L.L Records wanted. In 1997 they released Rust, and recieved phenomenal sucess. It remains their highest selling album next to "Stagnant Shore".
12 Laws of Chaos
After delivering two albums to K.I.L.L Records, Stagnant embarked on a world tour in early 1998 before returning to record their next album. 12 Laws of Chaos was released in July of '98, and critics called it "a modern metal masterpiece". Less than sixth months after their world tour Stagnant embarked on another to promote 12 Laws of Chaos with newcomers KoRn.
After months of touring, Stagnant sat down and according to Littlemore "chilled out to write some decent music". In 1999 the band released their seventh album, Operation: Exterminate. The album was generally well recieved, and sold 120,000 copies.
Ten Years of Death and another lineup change
In September of 1999 Stagnant was on the verge of splitting. But after Littlemore resurrected the band's passion they had a two year break until work began in July of 2000, for their eighth album "Ten Years of Death", the title commerating their 10 year anniversary. The album was released the following year, March 2001. It was phenomenonly sucessful, and the band embarked on their first world tour since 1998. Shortly after the tour ended, Jackie Fleet, Andy Kyle, and Brett Syracuse all left Stagnant for other ventures. Once again Littlemore was left alone to find a new lineup. In 2002 Louis "Fattz" DeLaney, Kayne Ellet, and Luke Edwards joined Stagnant as guitarist, bassist and drummer.
Facing being dropped by K.I.L.L Records, Littlemore gathered his new bandmates and set about recording the next album to reaffirm the label's faith in Stagnant. "RustED" was released in 2003, and critics praised Littlemore for his lyrics and being able to rouse up a new band from the ashes. They also said that "Stagnant's constant lineup change freshens it up a bit, and rules out the boredom".
In 2004, K.I.L.L Records dropped Stagnant after they completed their five album deal and the label chose not to renew their contract. In an interview Littlemore said he was "pissed off by K.I.L.L Record's lack of understanding and profesionalism". CEO of K.I.L.L Records, Chuck Harrington, replied by saying "Stagnant fulfiled their contract and it was our legitimate decision as a label to not renew their contract further". Stagnant had a album in the works, "Zodiac", and thankfully they were picked up by Caliber Records in 2004. They released their first album through the label, and their tenth album overall, "Zodiac". The album was well recieved by critics, and was the band's highest selling album since Rust in 1997.
Fall of Man and third lineup change
After barely four years together, Louis "Fattz" DeLaney, Kayne Ellet, and Luke Edwards all left Stagnant, and Caliber Records also dropped Stagnant. Littlemore was struggling, but thankfully found a record label that would pick the band up. His close friend Jacob Vindic's new record label Vindictive Records signed Stagnant as one of its first bands, and Vindic worked with his friend to find new band members. In late 2005 Casey Averdene, Joseph McPherson, and Andy Callighan all joined Stagnant, and are the current band members. Armed with a fresh lineup and a new record label backing them, Stagnant worked with Vindic on their eleventh album "Fall Of Man". The album was hugely sucessful, and ranks third in the highest sales of Stagnant albums, with Rust second and Stagnant Shore first.
With the sucess of the eleventh album, Littlemore asked Vindic to produce the twelfth album as well. Vindic agreed, and the album began production. "System Failure" was released on 2006 through Vindictive Records and well recieved. The band was beginning to find its feet again, and critics were finally calling Stagnant "metal band legends".
After touring to promote "System Failure", Stagnant returned to the studio to record their thirteenth album, "Bloodrayne". After many months of recording and writting songs, Littlemore worked so hard he even secured a guest guitar spot on "Bloodrayne" from Metallica's Kirk Hammet on two tracks. The album was released in 2007 and peaked at #13 on Metal Countdown. Less than two weeks later it plummeted to #3, and Stagnant embarked on their world tour.
In early 2008 the band returned to the studio in a creative buzz. They began working on the fourteenth album, "Psychpopathic" with Vindictive Records. They released it in mid 2008, and it peaked at #5 on Metal Countdown, second to only Bullet For My Valentine's "Scream Aim Fire" at #2 and Metallica's "The Day That Never Comes" at #1.
To commemorate Stagnant's eighteenth year, Littlemore and the others promised a huge year for the band. They kicked it off with the huge double-disc fifteenth album "Stagnant Invasion", released in 2009. The album sold over 600,000 and surpassed any other album sale. The band then kicked of their "The Invasion" World Tour, skyrocketing the album's sucess even higher. It was also the first time Stagnant had five consecutive singles on Metal Countdown from #4 to #15.
The End of Days and Littlemore's cancer and death
After their tour ended on December 13th 2009, according to Littlemore, the band have entered a brief hiatus before returning for a late 2010 album. Littlemore's autobiography, which has been in the works since late '05, aptly titled "Stagnant: Eighteen Years of Triumph, Turmoil and Music" was released in December 2009. He has also stated that both he and Jacob Vindic feel that any future albums should be produced elsewhere than Vindictive Records, as Stagnant has gained sufficient footing through the label. On October 18th Frank Littlemore announced via the band's website, www.stagnantnation.com.us, that "we as a band have decided to part ways with Vindictive Records for any future albums, and I would like to thank my good friend Jacob for helping us through thick and thin to create some truly magical records".
With Frank Littlemore's up and down battle with brain cancer, the future of a new album is questionable. He announced via his blog that although having intensive chemotherapy; his battle was a loosing one and doctors had predicted Littlemore had around 12 months to live. Stagnant will record a new album; which many fear to be their last with Frank Littlemore and Jacob Vindic has been brought on to produce independently. A title, "The End of Days", was revealed on July 13th 2010; with both a lyrical and personal meaning due to Littlemore's likely death. The other band members have been recording while Frank is hospital, but his state is well enough as of now to record, although doctors are uncertain of his future. Frank entered the studio on July 28th 2010 to record with the band, and says they have already laid down a few tracks; that he hopes will be a good farewell to fans. A single was released on October 28th; called "In My Dying Days", written by Littlemore about his cancer and impending death.
The band have yet to release The End of Days, but the album is likely to be pushed forward after Littlemore's recent November 27th passing. The remaining members of the band have said that the album will be released in the coming weeks and that Frank's final work will be given to the fans.
Style, influences and lyrical themes
In numerous interviews, Frank Littlemore labelled the band as no specific genre of metal. However as they are usually up-tempo and fast, they are commonly thrash metal. Their earlier albums have a more gothic touch, but the band has evolved to a more thrash-oriented sound. The band's lyrical themes are often centred around the theme of an album. For example, with Psychopathic, the obvious theme is mental instability, and with Fall of Man it is the apocalypse. Frank Littlemore said that during Stagnant's creation he listened to Metallica and Slayer heavily, and stated that these albums probably inspired Stagnant's initial sound.
- Stagnant Shore (1991)
- Pestilentia (1993)
- Nightmares and Despair (1994)
- Fear The Night (1996)
- Rust (1997)
- 12 Laws of Chaos (1998)
- Operation: Exterminate (1999)
- Ten Years of Death (2001)
- RustED (2003)
- Zodiac (2004)
- Fall of Man (2005)
- System Failure (2006)
- Bloodrayne (2007)
- Psychopathic (2008)
- Stagnant Invasion (2009)
- The End of Days (2010)
- Stagnant: Live In New York (1995)
- Stagnant: Ten Years of Death Tour (2001)
- Stagnant: The Invasion Tour (2009)
- Chaotik (2004)
- Best of ....Stagnant (2009)
- Current members
- Frank Littlemore - vocals (1989-2010) (deceased)
- Casey Averdene - lead guitar (2005-present)
- Joseph McPherson - bass (2005-present)
- Andy Callighan - drums (2005-present)
- Former members
- Jose Lynch - lead guitar (1989-1993)
- Michael Ackerman - bass (1989-1993)
- Samuel Hathaway - drums (1989-1993)
- Jackie Fleet - lead guitar (1993-2001)
- Andy Kyle - bass (1993-2001)
- Brett Syracuse - drums (1993-2001)
- Louis "Fattz" DeLaney - lead guitar (2001-2005)
- Kayne Ellet - bass (2001-2005)
- Luke Edwards - drums (2001-2005)